Singer’s concerns over ‘free’ music out on internet

Ed Sheeran
Ed Sheeran
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SINGER Ed Sheeran has warned that music fans have little regard for songs they have been given for free.

The Halifax-born musician comments follow the release of U2’s latest album Songs Of Innocence, which was initially given away to half a billion iTunes customers - the biggest stunt of its type. Mr Sheeran, speaking on Radio 4’s Today programme, claimed he was among those who had not bothered to listen to the Irish band’s release because there seemed no “urgency” when it turned up unrequested.

U2 made the surprise announcement that their album was a gift to iTunes customers during the launch of the new iPhone models last month.

Users found they had been given the album whether they wanted it or not and the firm had to quickly roll out a shortcut to remove it from gadgets for those who were unhappy about it.

Mr Sheeran said: “I think you should offer things out for free when it feels right but if you don’t put value on your music, no one else is.

“For instance, the new U2 album, I still haven’t heard. I know it’s there but there just wasn’t any urgency for me to grab it. With music, I think people will appreciate it more once they’ve bought it because they paid for it.”

He pointed out that prior to landing a deal he had been encouraged in discussions with major labels to give away his music to drum up interest.

His comments come after punk pioneer Iggy Pop criticised the U2 giveaway during a keynote speech as he delivered the John Peel Lecture for the BBC.